Iranian Film Director Found Dead From Stabbing

( – Acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Dariush Mehrjui reportedly recently suffered a brutal break-in at his home in a Tehran suburb. The man and his wife, Vahideh Mohammadifar, both died from fatal stab wounds to their necks. Police are still working to pin down the suspect and motive behind the crime.

BBC News reports that the director had invited his daughter, Mona Mehrjui, to come over for dinner on Saturday, October 14. Instead, she arrived to find a blood bath. Authorities haven’t offered any leads, but the Associated Press states that Mohammadifar, who had established herself in the industry in her own right as a costume designer and screenwriter, previously shared on social media that someone had threatened her with a knife. The couple’s home was also reportedly burglarized at that time.

Euro News suggests Mehrjui may have been targeted for political reasons. The Tehran regime had been cracking down on its critics in true totalitarian fashion, and the film director hadn’t been shy about his feelings over the issue. Mehrjui, who helped found Iran’s new wave in film in the 1970s, worked heavily in realism, which didn’t sit well with Iranian leaders. The government had banned his most recent movie, released last year, and he’d waged a vocal protest against the action.

Iran has seen a recent escalation in violence and mass arrests according to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. The foreign government, which forms its laws according to Islamic beliefs, amplified its response to dissenters after protests arose in September 2022 against the murder of hijab protester Mahsa Zhina Amini. Iranian leaders have particularly targeted women who refuse to submit to their oppressive religious-based ordinances, but no protester is safe.

Mehrjui studied film in the 1960s at the University of California, Los Angeles. He went on to earn several awards for his work, including a Golden Seashell at the San Sebastián International Film Festival 1993 and a Silver Hugo from the Chicago International Film Festival in 1998. He was 83 years old when he died.

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